Claudio Parentela contacted us on twitter about his anarchic expressionism and we loved it. As a visual artist from Italy, Claudio Parentela has been working professionally since 1995. Inspired by a wealth of names from differing disciplines and aspects of his personal life, Claudio Parentela creates images which use a plethora of sources to create work loaded with symbolism, themes and agitated yet delicate dichotomies.
Discuss your journey into the visual arts and indeed how would you describe ‘you’ as an artist?
A long adventure. A wonderful continuing journey where every day is new, and every day is full of wonderful gifts. I have been creating work professionally since the 1990s. From drawings, paintings, cuttings, pasting and shooting photos. I chose this beautiful and difficult ‘’job’’ because it makes me feel free, real and true. My art is freakish, cool, anarchic and knotted-it is me- Claudio.
In my art there are so many eyes – big eyes, deep, almost doors to other distant worlds.
Discuss your inspirations from yesteryear and present day.
I love all artists of all times, all the art in the universe. Everyone has such wonderful gifts to offer to us. My muses and my inspirations are vast from all disciplines and all aspects of my personal life. From people like Diamanda Galas, Andy Warhol, Nina Simone, Frank Zappa, Alexander McQueen, Miles Davis right through to my beloved tarot cards, Kundalini Yoga, Qi Gong, underground comic books and my cats. There is so much to inspire my creativity.
Can you remember the first image that evoked a clear emotional response from you? What was it and how did it make you feel?
If I remember well the first image I saw on TV when I was a child was a big Aboriginal art painting. I was so fascinated by that painting. The colors, those points, shapes and lines. It was that painting that pushed me to draw and it sparked theurge to create for the rest of my life.
Each image is evidently loaded with symbolism and meaning. Can you talk about some common themes that you explore?
There is so much in my artworks and sometimes I feel like a blender. In my art there so many eyes, big eyes, deep almost doors to other distant worlds. I use a lot of high and low fashion incorporating books of contemporary art, tarots, Eastern philosophy, magical symbolism people, underground comics. I like to play with all the irreconcilable opposites. The violent, delicate and opposite emotions and working on the strong contrast, on the knots of the soul interests me. In my art I try to create silence and freedom.
Are there themes you keep re-visiting and why?
I love and study painting and medieval painters, and all their sacredness. They are so close to my feeling, and they are so contemporary at the same time. I love to mix in my art the sacred and the sacrilege. In the medieval paintings I find this in a perfect balance and wonderfully represented.
Of course, your work is abstract talk about why you use the power of the abstract and indeed what attracts you to the abstract so much?
I adore and have a passion for the abstract but for a long time I did not. I think that it is a wonderful way to convey in their exact shape and size, feeling and thoughts, simple and extremely complicated all their correspondences, relationships, struggles, contacts … in an exact and precise way. It is so wonderfully mental and at the same time full of feelings.
Some of your work seems in some senses disturbing and shocking (to an extent) is it important to make people sometimes uncomfortable to explore issues with them?
In every soul there are bright sides and many shadows. I represent both light and darkness. It’s important for me to look at myself because I do not want to hide anything from myself. I want to be naked in my art with all my lines and my infinite knots.
Is your work cathartic?
Yes totally. It is a continued shamanic journey for me and I also hope for those who look at my work.